[something clear and plastic]
[learning with the drapes open]
[thinking about jesus lately]
“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain —
do you also believe that television shows are made inside
your television set?”
Why is it that I always end up in arguments? And why do people invariably perceive me as this raging monster of an argument inciter?
Case Study: Toilet Seat.
1. General Public
The commonly held view on the subject of “toilet seats” is that they should be down. Not necessarily always down, but that if there is to be a default, down should be it. The reasons cited for this (certain, mal-adjusted cat dwellings aside) always center around the status of women as toilet users, and the necessity of it being down for their use of it. It is thought that because women “have” to have it down, it is the responsibility of all individuals to maintain it in such a state so long as there are likely to be females present.
Obviously this is not the standard in, for example, a frat house, where women, in the vast minority, are left to fend for themselves, but seems to be the standard up to and including 2/1 man to woman ratios. Also in favor of this opinion, which seems to be held by everyone, everywhere in Canada at least, is the “falling in” theory, which speculates that a relevant number of females accidentally “fall in” to toilet bowls inadequately covered by seats.
Now, it seems to me that this entire system is not only at it’s heart sexist, but also poses an unnacceptable nuissance to males everywhere. It is a relic of the patriarchal era of “chivalry” in which “gentlemen” acted in a certain fashion in the presence and in relation to “the fairer sex”. Now this heady discussion of gender politics may seem over the top, and irrelevant to the topic at hand, but nothing could be further from the truth.
What reason do men have to consider the toilet-seat needs of women over their own beyond sexist notions of work and politeness? The fact of the matter is that each and every human (western-toilet using human that is) is obligated to perform one movement each time they use the toilet after someone of the opposite sex. Every man, before urinating, and if a woman has last used the toilet, has to lift the seat. Likewise (and 100% fairly) every woman, when using a bathroom in which a man has recently urinated, must lower the seat. It is an entirely fair and 1/1 trade off.
Why should the entire task of touching the seat be delegated to men? So that the women can keep their delicate hands clean? Because men are stronger, and have less trouble with the weight? If these answers seem absurd and antagonizing to you, then just ask yourself what reasons you have for believing that I am wrong (and you probably do, fucker). Our cultural policy of toilet seat duty delegation may seem unimportant and trivial, but it is in fact signatory of an entire undercurrent of sexism that still very much exists in our society, and which is completely unfair, if only because men, who were more than willing to perform in the past, when the woman would ultimately become his slave, are now being unfairly treated, and are expected to go far beyond the call of duty.
Also, everybody poops, and when we do the seat goes down, and men certainly aren’t seeing the seatist benefits of this universal activity.
Do I really pick fights for no reason? Are the subjects I choose to defend stupid and pointless? No. They are absurd and unusual, but they must be relevant. They must be.
“what are you most afraid of?”
…if he did have one fear, it would probably be of being wrong, or maybe of not being at all (as wrongness is both relative and a necessary step towards true correctness). He is afraid that he is not, or will not, consider the world around thim adequately. That he is/will not effetively understand why things are or should be. He’s mostly afraid that the thoughts that come out of his head don’t so much flow (let alone torrent) as much as trickle, and that out of the resulting pile of mental excrement very little of value for him, or for anyone else, will result.
It seems likely that he’s afraid of being stupid.
When he was in grade four (9 years old, the age when one first starts becomming aware of their own thoughts) he questioned whether those around him were sincerely themselves, or just actors. He asked this not because he thought that the was in a television show, or that he was being maliciously manipulated, but because he suspected that those around him were too much smarter than him to be in the same class.
He thought that he was in some way mentally handicapped, and that he was being deceived into believing that he possessed normal intelligence so that his feelngs would be spared.
One could argue that such thought in fact display precociousness on the part of a child. But that would not comfort young Jeremy, and the anxiety associated with this consideration would seem to be the most common example of fear found throughout his life. It would also seem relevant to note that on the few occasions during which Jeremy considered the possiblity of not being, it was his academic life, rather than personal, that instigated the loathesome doubt.
He is also extremely scared of large insects, to which he attributes more intelligence and danger than they could possibly deserve.
it’s weird that i can sit in front of a screen for two hours, scrutinizing and judging a film, trying to extricate ideology, meaning and flaws, and constantly noticing technical errors, and yet still end up crying at the end.
either i’m a sucker, or big fish is an amazing film.
it’s the kind of post-modernism that’s actually good for us, replacing all the irony driven sarcasm and self-referential exploitation and violence with a magical kind of meta-sincerity, leaving you feeling confused and wonderful. it gives us permission to LISTEN to the kind of stories we want to hear, without demanding that we consider them too closely, that we accept them for “what they are” or that we even think about them at all.
it’s the kind of story that makes me want to get off my ass and do something to re-create my own narrative, to re-discover my voice, and to say all the new and old things i’ve been meaning to say. it seems like the kind of movie that can really inspire people, can bring something new to the table.
or maybe i just cry a lot. the jury’s still out.
it seems that the whole notion of being a person falls way short of describing what we actually are.
as i understand it, our brains go because of the bioelectricity that is pumping through our nervous system. it flies around in our brains firing neurons (or maybe it IS the firing of neurons, i’m not really clear on that) and activating our stored memories to reference with current sensory input. it also travels throughout our nerves to control our muscle movements. pretty simple right? i mean, that’s how we move, it’s how we function.
but what are our thoughts then? the most common answer is that they’re something akin to magic. most people just don’t seem able or willing to conceive of their stream of consciousness as just a buzz of bioelectricity permeating some misunderstood grey matter, but isn’t such an explanation sufficient? forget the “unexplainable complexity of thought”, when there are more possible brain states than particles in the known universe (taking into account every combination of neural firings that’s possible) then there isn’t a whole hell of a lot that electro-neural activity CANT account for.
especially considering what our thoughts are actually like. my brain doesn’t read like a book, or like a speech or anything like the wonder of the mind is generally conceived as. it’s more like a cross between a broken record and a dog (is it just me or do animals always seem to be thinking about the word of the thing they’re looking at over and over: “person, person, person, person, BONE!”), repeating itself and always buzzing with total shit. i mean, obviously something productive occurs or i (also you, and you.) would be unable to function, but the volume, the sheer uncalculable and unbelievable quantity, of mental excrement that passes through my head is could be nothing but proof of the essential materiality of the functioning of my brain. it’s no amazing and finely tuned machine, more like a goat on a jewelry store, consuming as many valuables as possible and creating montains of excrement, which hide within themselves the treasures.
i think that’s the most important part of what sartre was getting at in nausea. our brains prize quantity over quality, and somewhere in the evolutionary process we realized (!) that if we just thought ENOUGH, some of it would have to be worthwhile. which leaves us now with brains that go non stop. like a stock ticker you can’t turn off, even if you want to. we have this crap, this multitude of LAYERS of crap that is constantly occupying us, always chugging away hoping to come up with something of value, and it’s fine and it’s dandy so long as you don’t mind. but don’t start to dislike it. don’t question whether it’s necessary.
i think that’s where crazy people come from.
that and texas.
happy new year, did you realize that it’s totally not the nineties at all anymore? like we’re officially “mid-zero’s”! that means that now it’s the 80’s AND 90’s lunch hour on the radio! and that eighties clothes will get EVEN MORE popular.
also i am old, and you are older.